They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

x500What would you do if you learned you were going to die today? That’s the premise behind Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End – where a service called Death Cast is started to let people know the day they’re going to die. What they don’t know is how or when.

Mateo Torrez always lived life in the slow lane, choosing to spend most of his time shut away instead of living it up the way he secretly wants to. But life’s not all bad. He has his best friend, Lidia; his godchild, Penny; and his dad, who is currently in a coma, to keep him preoccupied. When Mateo’s phone releases the Death Cast ring at 12:22 AM, he’s devastated. All his dreams of branching out will never come true. So, on his last day he decides to change his introverted ways: Mateo joins the Last Friend app to find someone who will help him live life to the fullest. What he doesn’t expect is to meet Rufus Emeterio: a kid who has already lost his family – and established a new one in the Pluto’s and their foster family – and who is on Death Cast’s list as well. Mateo also doesn’t expect to fall in love, but there’s a first time for everything, right?

This was my first taste of Adam Silver’s writing, and it definitely won’t be my last. Despite knowing how the book is going to end from the outset, there is a lot still inside the story to learn. In fact, within the first 100 pages I thought I knew how the book was going to end. I expected Silvera to be tricking us, to pull a quick one and surprise the reader in the end. However, I was wrong, and on more than one instance because Silvera has a way of making the reader think one thing will happen only to bring in something else. The reader gets to witness two characters grow through knowing each other. Although we know Mateo and Rufus are going to die, you still root for them, hoping – praying – that they somehow beat the odds and become the first people who do not die on the day they are meant to.

Beyond Mateo and Rufus, there are other characters intertwined into their story. We get to meet characters who aren’t going to die and who are going to die and see how their story plays along with the main characters. How things might have ended up differently if the two had made a different choice from the beginning. So, there’s a lot more depth to this story than there seems to be on the outset, and I really enjoyed that.

I also loved that Silvera is not only writing for the LBGTQ community, but also for people of color as well. This book was different than many of the other young adult books I read because it featured two people of color who also happened to be gay and bi. I loved seeing the diversity, and that’s just another reason that I want to read more of his work, as well as tell more people about it.

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